Former Supercars staff boss Jeff Grech has weighed in on the ugly saga at Erebus Motorsport, slamming the staff’s “disgusting” and “disrespectful’ act in direction of their reigning champion driver Brodie Kostecki.
Kostecki is looking for an exit from the staff – mere months after claiming his first Supercars title – and won’t race within the season opener later this month as negotiations over a everlasting cut up proceed.
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However this week at Winton Raceway, Kostecki’s substitute Todd Hazelwood drove the brand-new Erebus Camaro in a shakedown and official pre-season check – with the automotive adorned with the No. 1 that’s sometimes reserved for the reigning champion.
It’s a transfer that Grech, a legendary former staff boss of Holden Racing Staff for 20 years (HRT, now Walkinshaw Andretti United) and subsequently Staff 18, labelled “disgusting”.
“The bloke that gained the championship is the No. 1 bloke,” he advised Huge World of Sports activities.
“It’s completely disrespectful (to Kostecki).”
Supercars guidelines are anticipated to pressure Erebus to vary the quantity for the opening spherical of the season on the Bathurst 500, with Hazelwood prone to bear Erebus’ conventional No. 99 – the identical quantity that Kostecki bore as he claimed final 12 months’s title.
Grech, who was on the helm of HRT for six drivers’ championships and 4 Bathurst 1000 wins, stated he had by no means witnessed such a public schism between driver and staff.
“I’ve by no means seen something prefer it in my life,” he stated. “All through my years in motorsport, I’ve seen disagreements and drivers transfer on, however that is weird.
“I really feel for the game, I actually really feel for Brodie and I really feel for the fan base. It’s a tragic state of affairs … I’m simply actually gutted for Brodie. Completely gutted.
“I’ve had dealings with drivers and contracts and it’s a little bit of a two-way road. Typically the drivers expectations aren’t what the groups are, however you’re employed it out.
“I don’t assume I’ve ever seen it get to the purpose the place it’s been on-show this unhealthy.”
On this week’s testing at Winton, the place Grech now works as a guide, the automobiles wore a stripped-back livery following the departure of three main Erebus sponsors within the final week.
Coca-Cola and Shaw and Companions – the 2 largest sponsors of the staff – withdrew, as did Southern Cross Truck Leases.
Grech claimed that the sponsors weren’t advised in regards to the Kostecki scenario “till the final minute”, the end result being that Erebus is now scrambling to search out new backers forward of the season begin on February 23.
“Once we had been a manufacturing facility staff at HRT, we at all times stored Holden, and for that matter the remainder of the sponsor group, in control on every little thing,” Grech stated.
“We needed to. Not solely as a result of it’s well mannered to take action, however they’re your main sponsors, you at all times allow them to know earlier than something received out the door.
“You’re employed with them to allow them to get effectively forward of it. Usually, if you happen to try this, they respect it after which look to the staff to kind the problem out. You retain them abreast of it.
“However my mail is the sponsor group wasn’t advised till the final minute a couple of dispute that had been happening for some time and it caught them out.”
It comes after one other legendary former staff boss Roland Dane claimed that the dispute centred on Erebus being a “poisonous office”. The connection between Kostecki and Erebus CEO Barry Ryan is believed to have turn out to be frayed throughout their profitable 2023 marketing campaign.
Ryan yesterday broke his silence, saying “we all know the reality” and declaring it was “enterprise as traditional” for his staff.
Initially printed as Supercars staff Erebus breaks golden rule amid Brodie Kostecki feud